Monday, February 25, 2013

Stricter 'Gun Control' Could Mean Economic Woes

Our country's economy has been repeatedly slamming its head against economic walls and other obstacles to prosperity over the past five years. These obstacles started when the socialists Democrats obtained the majority in both houses of Congress in 2006. Dodd-Frank and other socialist legislation destabilized the economy. Since, other acts such as the PPACA, out-of-control federal spending, increased federal credit limits (debt ceiling), the "stimulus", and the lack of a budget (much less a balanced one) have intentionally hindered recovery.

Some states made wise decisions. Indiana looked at Public-Private Partnership (P3) contracts with private companies in order to increase the efficiency of many state-level responsibilities such as toll roads. It's been highly successful. Other states, such as Indiana and Arizona, have increased school choice programs and enhanced private and charter schools to compete. States such as Texas have stood by right-to-work legislation which has increased competition by companies in hiring the best people. This has increased productivity, increasing the demand for labor, creating jobs, and raising the mean wage levels in the process. Getting the unions out of the way enabled the employees the right to keep more of their earnings without some group of goons extorting it from them.

Others just haven't learned. California raised its state level income tax, punishing people for working and earning and prospering.

Then along come proposals on state and federal levels that harm.

School Choice legislation improves education by increasing competition. Common Core State Standards Initiatives and Obama's proposed "universal Pre-K" program harm education. Reduced education means loss of prosperity.

With bill sponsored in the Senate and House, the federal government is threatening to inhibit the firearms industry. These inhibitions and unconstitutional infringements harm those who work in these industries as well as their customers.

Some states fearing that federal legislation may not pass are attempting to enact state-level laws along similar lines. These harm the state level economies.

Some companies, such as Magpul, are cutting their contracts and refusing to sell, even to law enforcement, their products in states that restrict them. This will hinder law enforcement officers. In addition, it limits products that people will purchase. That means lower sales. That means lower sales-tax revenue.

Magpul and other companies are looking to move their businesses out of other states that are passing infringements upon the Second Amendment. Some of the laws proposed in Colorado have Magpul looking to move to Wyoming or Texas. Beretta USA is threatening to move one of its rifle plants from Maryland to a state, such as Texas, which would welcome the 300 new jobs plus increased revenue that will come with it. Texas has no income taxes, making the move even more lucrative to the business.

Texas and Arizona are among states looking to preemptively nullify any further federal firearms restrictions, particularly those on magazine capacity and certain rifles that are inaccurately labeled as "assault rifles". (Since they do not fire more than one projectile with a single trigger pull, they are not assault rifles).

Texas HB 1076, The "Firearm Protection Act" forbids state and local law enforcement from enforcing any such laws. It further places fines and other criminal punishments against any county or local government who infringes upon the Second Amendment.

(a) This section applies to:
   (1)the State of Texas, including an agency, department, commission, bureau, board, office, council, court or other entity that is in any branch of state government and that is created by the Constitution or a statute of this state, including a university system or a system of higher education;
   (2) the governing body of a municipality, county, or special district or authority;
   (3) an officer, employee, or other body that is part of a municipality, county, or special district or authority, including a sheriff, municipal police department, municipal attorney, or county attorney; and
   (4) a district attorney or criminal district attorney.

(b)An entity described by Subsection (a) may not adopt a rule, order, ordinance, or policy under which the entity enforces, or by consistent action allows the enforcement of, a federal statute, order, rule or regulation enacted on or after January 1, 2013 that purports to regulate a firearm, firearm accessory, or irearm ammunition if the statute, order, rule or regulation imposes a prohibition, restriction or other regulation, such as capacity or size limitation, a registration requirement or a background check, that does not exist under the laws of this state.

(c)No entity described by Subsection (a) and no person employed by or otherwise under the direction or control of the entity may enforce or attempt to enforce any federal statute, order, rule or regulation described by Subsection (b).

This is part of Texas's plan to not only protect its citizens from tyranny but to romance firearms companies in other states to move to Texas. The message is clear:  "The state you are in doesn't want your business. We do. Come here and we'll prosper together." Those "blue states" that are looking to infringe will find their already struggling state economies to be worse off.

Those economies could be worse off in other ways as well.

The restrictions will harm small businesses. The obvious ones are gun stores and firing ranges. However, they also inhibit the "pursuit of happiness" of other business owners by making them unable to protect their businesses from theft and their customers from assault. This will lead to higher crime, harming businesses, and forcing many to have to close. That will increase unemployment and decrease state revenues from sales taxes, payroll taxes, property taxes, capital gains taxes, etc. Without a means to protect their businesses, owners and employees will either close or move to less restrictive states.

Meanwhile, states such as Arizona have "Constitutional Carry" legislation (with restrictions). These laws allow customers, business owners, and employees to carry, open or concealed, within certain limitations. Those limitations are school zones and other select places. Those businesses that do not welcome firearms can post signs outside of their locations stating as much. They are free to do so.

Texas, which does not have "Constitutional Carry", is considering such legislation. Texas HB 700 is a rewrite of a bill that passed the Texas House in 2011. This version looks as though it has a better chance of passing the state Senate. It would allow "open carry" with permit. It's a step closer to being in proper compliance with the Second Amendment of the US Constitution.

Meanwhile, current laws allow employees to carry concealed to and from their places of employment, even if the employers' policies forbid carrying. The legislation mandates that such employers allow employees with concealed carry permits to keep their firearms locked securely in their vehicles without reprisal.This law does not infringe upon the business owners' rights to allow or disallow firearms on their private property, to include their rights to have policies against employees carrying concealed on company property or while "on duty".

A public or private employer may not prohibit an employee who holds a license to carry a concealed handgun under Sub-chapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, who otherwise lawfully possesses a firearm, or who lawfully
possesses ammunition from transporting or storing a firearm or ammunition the employee is authorized by law to possess in a locked, privately owned motor vehicle in a parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area the employer provides for employees.
Sec. 52.062. EXCEPTIONS.
(a) Section 52.061 does not:
   (1) authorize a per son who holds a license to carry a concealed handgun under Sub-chapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, who otherwise lawfully possesses a firearm, or who lawfully possesses ammunition to possess a firearm or ammunition on any property where the possession of a firearm or ammunition is prohibited by state or federal law; or
   (2) apply to:
      (A) a vehicle owned or leased by a public or private employer and used by an employee in the course and scope of the employee's employment, unless the employee is required to transport or store a firearm in the official discharge of the employee's duties;
      (B) a school district;
      (C) an open-enrollment charter school, as defined by Section 5.001, Education Code;
      (D) a pr ivate school, as defined by Section 22.081, Education Code;
       (E) property owned or controlled by a per son, other than the employer, that is subject to a valid, unexpired oil, gas, or other mineral lease that contains a provision prohibiting the possession of firearms on the property;

States looking to deny citizens from such assurances of their rights protected by the Second Amendment are facing skilled workers leaving the states for those, such as Texas and Arizona, that do afford those assurances.

Infringing upon the natural right to arm one's self in order to protect one's self, family, property, and fellow citizens as protected by the Second Amendment isn't just a violation of a basic human right, it's bad business. That makes it just plain stupid.